Friday, January 16, 2009

More on Bush's Farewell

I was intemperate in an earlier post about the CBC report on Bush, because it was a typical piece of cheap CBC work. Here is a more serious effort by someone I suspect I largely disagree with, but who is able to see the main thing Bush solidly, and as he documents, improbably, got right.
George Bush was an unlikely man, and an unlucky choice, to lead a war for secular values against a theocratic ideology of hatred. He lacked the rhetorical position (let alone ability!) to articulate a defense of those values. Yet he did recognize that that was the war that had to be fought, and he did fight it. The memory I will always have of him is him standing with the bullhorn at the World Trade Center site, saying “I can hear you, the world hears you, and the people who knocked these buildings down will hear from all of us soon.” In all the time since, with all the criticisms and attacks—both merited and unmerited, considered and childish, thoughtful and emotive—that one core did not change. Bush fell short in many, many ways—his continued embrace of Saudi Arabia and Russia, for instance, his keeping of an almost openly insubordinate Secretary of State, a domestic policy so riddled with stupidity and error that time will not permit even a brief itemization. But when he says this, he gets it exactly right, and he has always got this point right:

"As we address these challenges—and others we cannot foresee tonight—America must maintain our moral clarity. I’ve often spoken to you about good and evil, and this has made some uncomfortable. But good and evil are present in this world, and between the two of them there can be no compromise. Murdering the innocent to advance an ideology is wrong every time, everywhere. Freeing people from oppression and despair is eternally right. This nation must continue to speak out for justice and truth. We must always be willing to act in their defense—and to advance the cause of peace."

This is the truth, and, alas, that is not a small thing in today’s world. It is to be hoped that others will continue to stand by that truth in the coming years.

Is it even a surprise anymore that a blogger does a far better job of assessment that what claims to be a journalistic organization funded purely by state coercion. Worse, I am forced to pay for people that I think have signed up largely as representatives of what Tim Sandefur above describes as evil.


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